I’m Still Looking For A ‘Love Jones’ In The ‘Brown Sugar’ Section: The Intro
Honestly, the title that I aspired for this series to have was “I’m Still Looking for a Love Jones In The Brown Sugar Section Of Whole Foods, But I’m Not Sanaa Lathan and My Area of Brooklyn is Gentrified.”
But we don’t have that much title space, or breath, or patience. So let’s begin.
I’m a writer.
I’m a writer and educator, living in Brooklyn.
I’m a writer and educator, living in Brooklyn, with general anxiety disorder and trust issues, considering my last long-term boyfriend was cheating on and lying to me consistently.
Damn, that’s layered.
However, aren’t we all?
Let’s start the series with the truth. We’ll begin with a peeling of me and all my complexities. Why? Because our layers correlate with dysfunction or lack there of. They are to blame and not to blame for why things went the way they did. We love better, when we’re fully aware of our flaws, our discrepancies, and our triumphs. We’re better at loving, when we accept, mend, or stand by them.
This series isn’t meant to preach. The narrative is meant to entertain, it’s meant to make you laugh, it’s meant to make you yell, it’s meant to make you cry. It’s meant to make you reflective, when you come across something that mirrors something you’ve been through. I encourage your notions, your stories, and your smiles.
Let’s try that again:
I’m a writer and educator, living in Brooklyn, with the issues listed above. I write at night and teach during the day, I love my friends and students to no end, I’m incredibly close to my family, and I give back to my community in ways you cannot imagine.
See? I’m not all bad.
I grew up in the 90s. I snuck my mother’s Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, and Omar Tyree books. (I also snuck her Langston, J. California Cooper, and copy of the DSMIV. But let’s be real…that’s not what influenced this series.) I watched “Love Jones”, “Love and Basketball”, “Hav Plenty”, “Brown Sugar” and many more movies like it, with eyes wide open. (I snuck some of those movies when no one was looking. I grew up in a household where I was only allowed to watch, if the rating said I could.) The scenes of these works greatly influenced my outlook on love. I was ready to share an open mic cafe table with funny HBCU bred intellects, fall in love with the boy from next door or one that was Brooklyn bred and love with hip-hop, and we were going to be successful as all hell with our brown babies, running around our brownstone.
I moved to Brooklyn. I moved into a brownstone apartment. I frequented open mics and cafes. I became hella successful.
But no guy.
No Dre to my Sidney.
Okay, that’s not entirely true.
I was in a 3 year relationship that ended, just as I moved into this new space. Our union was white sugar–modified, temporarily satisfying.
That was a few years ago. Since then, after a much needed breather, I’ve been on the prowl. (<—Damn that sounds predatory, Riv.)
Last year, I wrote a dating series called “In the Meantime” that covered the initiation of this so called “prowl.” It accrued hundreds of thousands of views on my personal blog and then eventually picked up more speed here, at MadameNoire.com. Those stories were from 2013. These are from 2013-2014.
Back to it: Brooklyn, brownstone, cafes, blah, blah….
Yeah. Here’s the problem: Dre isn’t here.
I hear you, cliche reader….calm down…un-bat those eyelashes and give me a break. Of course there are Dres out there, of course my time will come. I get it. I know. But right now? I’m going to write about the f-ckery that is finding him.
Around February, three different guys entered my life around the same time. During one of my girlfriend powwows, I was told that my issue was that I was putting my all into one guy.
Instantly I replied, “I don’t entertain several men at once, that’s just nasty.”
My friend laughed, “Girl! I don’t mean like that. Go on several dates. Get to know several guys, let things blossom. When you find one you really want to invest in, you cut the rest off.”
I’d never really considered this. I’ve heard Demetria Lucas allude to it, read it in several articles, and even had my mother reiterate it.
Have several dinners.
Go dancing with someone new, every time.
Hearing this advice from my mother was most difficult. She’d been in a successful marriage for over thirty years. She met the love of her life at sixteen and all she knew was triumph and tribulation, with someone by her side.
This is all I’d ever known too, so I mimicked it in dating. I met someone, we both expressed interest and I latched.
That winter, I decided I would no longer latch. I would date, freely.